Controversy Surrounding Nicki Minaj and “Idol” Exclude Important Clues

If “American Idol” execs are listening to the blogosphere, then they have heard the controversial rumors swirling about suggesting that Mariah Carey is presently throwing a hissy fit over the idea that Nicki Minaj might be joining her at the judges table on “Idol.” In addition, some of those reports are also saying that having only African American’s seated as judges will drive “Idol’s” rating down. While these reports may be valid, no article appears to come close to a clear understanding of the direction “Idol” may have chosen for its new season because they exclude or neglect to include important clues rumored in online newspapers and magazines.

The fact is that both arguments may be a little premature since no official word confirming Minaj has been reported; and Randy Jackson’s role as either a judge or mentor is also an unconfirmed rumor.

Reports indicating Minaj has an agreement in place have been greatly exaggerated. While “Idol” executives are perhaps in talks with the hip hop artist, they are simultaneously negotiating with others. The fact that Carey was under the impression she would be the only female judge may be true if “Idol” if the popular singing contest planned to employ three judges. However, it appears company decision makers are considering a model that calls for four judges to shake thing up a bit and potentially enable the show to recapture the dominating prestige it once had before “The Voice” and “The X Factor” joined the ratings fray.

If “Idol” decides to go with a four judge platform, and also move Jackson to a mentorship role most of the controversy that has spun out of control of late will rapidly become old news because Carey and Minaj would only represent one half of the panel of judges. This would leave the other half for “Idol” to likely employ a Hispanic and Caucasian male.

In all probability, Fox and FremantleMedia seem to be leaning in the direction described in this article, especially when you take into account that some of the rumors have mentioned interest in  a country star (the leading candidate is Keith Urban, says an insider) and a Latin artist Enrique Iglesias (who is believed to be the No. 1 choice).

Hence, if Carey was under the impression that there would only be three judges seated for the show, her apprehension might be understandable. However, a move to four judges makes sense at this point, considering “The X Factor” and “The Voice,” the latter of which could end up being serious competition for “Idol,” both use a four-judge panel. Therefore, having two female judges would not provide balance; it would be viewed as fair.

This scenario would significantly diminish the strength of the Carey claiming that she hung up the phone when informed that Nicki was this close to parking her enviable bottom right next to Mariah on “Idol.”

Reports indicating Carey may be perturbed simply because Minaj is younger might be better classified as gossip, though Mariah is 13-years-older.

There is more than enough room for both these two divas. While Carey is a musical legend and invokes an attractive nostalgia, Nicki’s music is current especially among America’s youth right now making her a perfect candidate to draw in that coveted demographic.

There should be no reason why these two Divas can’t put aside their issues and happily sit next to each other.

There would also be no need to address the all black judging panel if the argument articulated in this article proves to be correct. It would nullify, TMZ’s reports that points out “Middle America might not tune in to [an all-black-judging-panel] if it ends up being Minaj, Carey and Randy Jackson.”

The last bone of contention that may very well be holding up any official announcement introducing Minaj as a judge is the decades old feud between Pepsi and Coke.

Minaj has recently entered in to a new endorsement deal with Pepsi, which includes commercials, touring and album promo. It is reasonable for “Idol” sponsor Coke not to be thrilled at the prospect. The leading soda company has been an “Idol” partner since season one, at a cost of $26 million per year, according to reports. Though the show was able to solve a similar problem when longtime sponsor Ford got wind of Judge Jennifer Lopez’s commercial deal with Fiat, the Coke/Pepsi feud has much deeper roots and either party is not likely to acquiesce.

The reason Coke may not want to accommodate the addition of Minaj to the judges table is because Pepsi has cast her as the face of their product. Hence, Coke would then be fueling the star power Pepsi would depend on to make bank from the deal with the MC, and that’s the last thing Coke would want. So if there is a holdup with announcing a Minaj deal, here is the best and first place to look.

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